Monday, March 06, 2006

Global Warming

Following on from my last post, and by a strange quirk of coincidence, the Sustainable Development Commision, chaired by Jonathon Porrit and reporting directly to Our Glorious Leader, have released a report into whether the UK should invest in nuclear energy.

And the answer is: No!

Surprise, surprise.

A press release is available here.

We all need to reduce, reuse and recycle much more than we are at the moment. That is well known. Developing countries carbon output will inevitably go up over time, so we need to lead by example. If you haven't got a compost bin or water butt, why not? Go and buy one next weekend, or start a wormery. If you need a new boiler (unlikely, granted) get a condensing boiler. Use the car less, walk or cycle more.

Mind you, renewable energy has a long way to go before it can hope to provide us with the energy we need. Wind farms are unpopular, solar water heating is one thing, but photovoltaic solar panels are not as cost effective as they need to be to generate a mass market. It can take many years to recoup your investment.

But, and its a big but, the current Government are only interested in votes, especially those from Middle England. If Colonel Bluster (rtd) from Greater Whinging in Surrey says "No!"*, the politico's wobble and rethink. Sound bites are all. They have to start paying attention to the long term needs of the country. Of course TB says he is. But if that is the case, why is the nuclear option being considered with such alacrity?

Personally, I think the Government should move away from a centralised energy grid towards a more flexible, locally delivered system concentrating both on big power stations and small microgenerating schemes (such as solar energy, small wind turbines on everybody's roof next to the TV aerial/satellite dish). Grants are already available in the UK to help get your roof insulated, even to get solar panels of one sort or another put up. But the Government needs to improve the structure of these mechanisms, making it easier for householders to have the work done, and easier for planning authorities to ensure that developers build in a more sustainable fashion. Why not insist that all the new houses that are being built in the south east of England have either solar water heating, or photovoltaics, or both? Build in water capturing technology to reduce the amount of rain water that goes into the drains, there to the sewers and so to waste. It can't be that hard.

So come on, people. Have a think. And this weekend, do something green.

*Col Bluster is fictional and any relationship to any figure in life or imagination is unintentional and your own problem.


Simon Bandy said...

Here here!!

I whole heartedly agree.

We've ony got one planet, I think it would be advisable to not destroy it. If only for my kids sake!

Pete Wright said...

Roll on tomorrow mate. 12 years of reign is about to come to an unceremonious end methinks :)

Pete Wright said...
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